Top 7 Reasons Why to Use a Rowing Machine

The new trend in gyms is to use the rowing machines, also known as a rower. These fitness equipment have been made popular by the Crossfit gyms where they have incorporated into their various training.

Everyone has seen a rower in fitness gyms and if they are beginners for sure it wasn’t their first option when it comes to cardio workouts. But this opinion can be changed if you read the following reason why the rowing machine should not miss from your training.

1. Full Body Workout

Maybe you are asking yourself, the rowing machine is not about the upper body? No, it isn’t according to the English Institute of Sport study is that rowing machine is engaging 86 percent of your muscle.

rowing machine muscle used

Doing a “stroke”, which is the entire movement did when you row, will require your upper and lower body to work.

The movement or the “stroke” is performed through 4 phases.  And this is where the difference is done. Every phase of a stroke handles different muscle groups.

To break down this, we will have:

The catch: Triceps, Deltoids, Traps, Hamstring, Abdominal, Lower Back

The Drive: Biceps, Forearms, Middle Back, Calves, Hamstring, Abdominal, Glutes, Quads

The Finish: Traps, Delts, Biceps, Forearms, Lats, Glutes. Quads

The recovery: Traps, Hamstring, Calves, Delts, Triceps, Forearms, Abdominal

As you can see, every move you do different muscle groups is utilized. Rowing, as muscle groups used, can only be compared with swimming. But you cannot swim at home 🙂

Also, you can find more details about how a rowing machine transforms you here.

2. Great to lose weight

Training using a rowing machine will give you a good cardio workout and has good cardiovascular benefits as it is an aerobic exercise. The heart and the lung system will be pushed and by doing this your body metabolism will start to work more and more.

Beside that is a great workout, the calories that are burned are amazing for an inside training. At a stationary bike, for every 60 minutes, you will burn around 450 Calories. Using a rowing machine, the number of calories burned for the same amount of time increase exponentially.

No more than 600 calories!

3. Easy on joints

A treadmill will stress your knee joints due to the surface. It is similar to running on asphalt when your knees and foot are the ones that are taking the entire shock.  

In contrast, training at a rowing machine, the shock produced by the body movement is less and it is absorbed by the entire body.

By don’t overwhelm the joints, the rowing machine is also great for people that can not use weights or are in recovery.

4. Improve body posture

rowing machine improve body posture

If you have a desk job and sitting on a chair is the only “exercise” you are doing, a rowing machine is great. As you already saw in the #1 reason, a rowing machine is working your entire body.

When rowing, by doing “the stroke” movement correctly, you will force the lower back to be straight and push back your shoulders. After some workouts you will observe that your body posture is improving, you have your back straight.

But what is awesome, is that you back pain caused by sitting in the chair goes away. You just need to workout.

5. Easy to use

Even at first sight may look complicated to row, we can say that it isn’t.  There are 3 steps to follow. From a position that keeps your knees bend, extend your legs. Secondly, after your legs are extended and your back is straight, swing your body back over.  Finally, you just need to pull the handle to your chest, near to sternum. Now start over by bringing your knees back to the front.

Isn’t complicated and it can be done by everybody. In case that you need help and correct your body posture during rowing you can start film yourself.

Put your phone in your left or right side and try to catch the entire rowing machine. Now, do some strokes, stop the video and analyze. It is very easy to correct by seeing how your body is going from start to finish.

But what is awesome, is that you back pain caused by sitting in the chair goes away. You just need to workout.

6. Variety of training 

There is a lot of variety of workout from you can choose. You can choose to increase endurance and rowing 2000m in a single workout. In this way, your overall stamina will get improve.

Another option is to go explosive for a 500m split. This will train your explosion fiber muscle and your lung system will get improve. This is because you will do a great effort in a short time. Your breathing will become faster and force the lung capacity to increase.

Variety of training for rowing machine

Or you can combine rowing with calisthenics and performing HIIT training. In a way, you will improve your strength.

A lot of workout options are available.

7. Affordable equipment 

If the first model where expensive, now the industry has evolved and rowing machines have started to be cheaper.

As you may already, there are 3 types of rowing machine and these are differentiated by the rowing mechanism. There are the ones that are based on water resistance, where you have a bowl filled with water and blades to create resistance. Even these ones mimic the feeling of natural rowing in a boat are the most expensive.

Proform 550rSimilar to the water rowing machines are the air rowing machines. These ones have a spinning wheel that is used as a fan to create resistance. The advantage of these rowing machines is that this are cheaper than the water rowers. You can find entry-level rowing machines like Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 or middle level with a damper system like ProForm 550R Rowing.

Finally, the third type of rowing machines are the ones that are using a spinning wheel and a magnet to create resistance. One of the important aspects of these rowers is that are very silent and the felt resistance remains constant. You can find a wide range of magnetic rowing machine, starting with entry-level rowers like Sunny Health Fitness Magnetic SF RW5515 or going to mid-range like LifeSpan RW1000.

Therefore, a lot of options are available, you just need to start training

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